Background--Infusion of allogeneic cardiosphere-derived cells (allo-CDCs) postreperfusion elicits cardioprotective cellular postconditioning in pigs with acute myocardial infarction. However, the long-term effects of allo-CDCs have not been assessed. We performed a placebo-controlled pivotal study for long-term evaluation, as well as shorter-term mechanistic studies. Methods and Results--Minipigs underwent 1.5-hour mid-left anterior descending balloon occlusion followed by reperfusion and were randomized to receive intracoronary allo-CDCs or vehicle 30 minutes postreperfusion. Left ventriculography (LVG) demonstrated preserved ejection fraction (EF) and attenuation of LV remodeling in CDC-treated pigs. Pigs underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and LVG 1 hour and 8 weeks after therapy to evaluate efficacy. MRI showed improvement of EF and attenuation of LV remodeling immediately after allo-CDC infusion. In addition, allo-CDCs improved regional function and decreased hypertrophy 2 months post-treatment. Histological analysis revealed increased myocardial salvage index, enhanced vascularity, sustained reductions in infarct size/area at risk and scar transmurality, and attenuation of collagen deposition in the infarct zone of allo-CDCtreated pigs at 2 months. Allo-CDCs did not evoke lymphohistiocytic infiltration or systemic humoral memory response. Short-term experiments designed to probe mechanism revealed antiapoptotic effects of allo-CDCs on cardiomyocytes and increases in cytoprotective macrophages, but no increase in overall inflammatory cell infiltration 2 hours after cell therapy. Conclusions--Allo-CDC infusion postreperfusion is safe, improves cardiac function, and attenuates scar size and remodeling. The favorable effects persist for at least 2 months after therapy. Thus, cellular postconditioning confers not only acute cardioprotection, but also lasting structural and functional benefits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas